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Binge Drinking, Hypertension a Deadly Combo
Date:8/19/2010

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- If you have high blood pressure, binge drinking may greatly increase your risk of dying from a stroke or heart attack, South Korean researchers report.

Their study found that for men whose blood pressure was at least 168/100, the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease was four times higher than non-drinkers if they had downed six drinks on one occasion. Consuming up to 12 drinks on one occasion raised their risk of dying from stroke or heart attack up to 12-fold, the researchers found.

"The pattern of drinking -- such as heavy binge drinking -- does matter, not total volume of alcohol per week in terms of risk of stroke mortality," said lead researcher Dr. Heechoul Ohrr, a professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul.

This is particularity important if you have high blood pressure, Ohrr said. "If you are hypertensive, do not drink 12 drinks or more on one occasion," he said.

The report is published in the Aug. 19 online edition of Stroke.

For the study, Ohrr's team collected data on 6,100 men and women living in a farming community. The researchers followed these people for almost 21 years.

The participants were divided into four groups: nondrinkers, non-binge drinkers, moderate binge drinkers (defined as having six or more drinks on one occasion), and heavy binge drinkers (defined as having 12 or more drinks on one occasion).

Among the men with high blood pressure, 17.8 percent were moderate binge drinkers, and 3.9 percent were heavy binge drinkers (a percentage similar to the men with normal blood pressure). As for the women, there were too few who said they were binge drinkers to be able to draw conclusions, the researchers said.

Ohrr's group found that compared with nondrinkers, the risk of stroke among men with high blood pressure was in
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